I guess I'm one of the smart ones. Let me explain... I'm Catholic. I believe in God and in the saving power of Jesus Christ. But I really do shudder at the though of how similar most Catholics are to raving protestant Evangelicals. Catholicism has always been very pro-education, so it's surprising when you see Catholics acting like such idiots. For instance, the Catholic church proclaimed decades ago that evolution, as long as it does not deny God's role in creation, is fine. The Catholic church used to think that science and religion could live together, if not as best friends, at least as respectful roommates.
Whether that has changed, or I was just seeing what I wanted to see, I really do not know. From Pope Benedict's recent idiotic statement (the man is my spiritual leader but that doesn't mean I need to try to hide the truth) that condom use increases your chances of getting AIDS, to the more recent outrage against Notre Dame and Georgetown for asking Obama to speak at their respective institutions, Catholics are seeming more and more fanatical in my eyes.
Take some of the comments I've read on discussions about the White House's decision to cover the IHS symbol above the stage where Obama stood to make his speech. Some think he is a fascist, some think he is a socialist, many think he is the antichrist, and almost all think he has some kind of evil agenda that involves wiping Christianity from the face of the earth- or at least from the face of America.
Look, it's really simple. The entire world is in a shambles right now thanks in large part to eight years of America being controlled by fundamentalist Christian idiots seeking to bring about the Apocalypse. The rest of the world hates us. They look at America and they see Bush calling the war in Iraq a 'crusade'. They see thousands of Muslims illegally detained on US soil, deported to secret CIA prisons in countries that have no problem with torture, and submitted to physical and psychological torture right here in the good old US, all done under authority of a leader who constantly made it be known that he believed America to be a Christian nation and who claimed to speak daily with God.
Now, if you were a president who wanted to live up to the idea of separation of Church and State (which I believe in strongly- after all, what if the church that ends up in charge is not MY Church??) and assure the world that we would not be 'crusading' in their country next, and wanted to give terrorists less of a motive by backing off on the religious rhetoric, would you appear directly underneath a large representation of the name of Jesus? That would not only serve to assure terrorists that you were set on continuing the crusade against their faith, but it would also, ironically enough, piss off those fundy right-winger Christians who have been bitching this whole time about Obama claiming to be some kind of messiah. Can't you just see it?
1. Obama appears in photos around the world underneath a big sign that says 'Jesus'.
2. Muslim terrorist in Pakistan says, "See! He is just like all the others and will surely attack us illegally and immorally, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents, just like Bush did! Better strap on a bomb and get to it..."
3. Christian fundamentalist in the Bible Belt says, "See! He is trying to imply that he is the Christ! The name of Jesus is directly above his head so it looks like it's referring to him! Claiming to be Jesus... that's a mark of the Antichrist!! Tremble in fear, the end is near! Better start 'converting' some heathens!"
Either way, he'd still be hated on. While I'll admit that the best choice would have simply been to refuse to speak at Georgetown, or at the very least to choose a better location, it is obvious to me that the White House made a politically brilliant move in order to reassure the world that Obama is focussing on the important matters that fundamentalists seem to forget or just not care about- good, affordable healthcare for all, a solid social safety net, good, affordable education that will keep our children competitive, and all the other socially beneficial things that Christians are supposed to be concerned with. Besides, even Jesus refused to get involved in politics- why should politicians wear their religion like a badge? The fact is, Obama, in not flaunting Christianity and seeking an equally free society where everyone has a choice and a voice and is taken care of by their neighbor, is actually being more Christian than the majority of those 'Christians' who support endless wars, the death penalty, segregation, class warfare and greed-based capitalism.